Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Marriage Equality Coming to New Jersey!

Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson has ruled today in Garden State Equality v. Dow that same sex couples must be allowed to marry in NJ!  Marriage equality currently set to start on October 21st.  

In arguments before Jacobson in August, Lambda Legal’s lawyer, Lawrence Lustberg, said that not allowing same-sex couples to marry will have “devastating” consequences because the federal government denies a wide array of benefits to couples who are not married. He said the question is a matter of equal protection under the law and has moral overtones.

Jacobson agreed, ruling that the ineligibility of same-sex couples for federal benefits hurts them in “a wide range of contexts,” such as pension benefits, family leave protections and tax benefits.

“If the trend of federal agencies deeming civil union partners ineligible for benefits continues, plaintiffs will suffer even more, while their opposite-sex New Jersey counterparts continue to receive federal marital benefits for no reason other than the label placed upon their relationship by the state,” the judge wrote. Such unequal treatment “requires that New Jersey extend civil marriage to same-sex couples to satisfy the equal protection guarantees of the New Jersey Constitution.”

Christie Names NJ AG Jeff Chiesa as Interim Senator

Chris Christie has appointed NJ Attorney General Jeff Chiesa as the interim replacement for Sen Lautenberg’s seat.  The two have a long history together.  From Chiesa’s Wikipedia Bio:

In 1988, Chiesa joined the Cranford law firm of Dughi, Hewit & Palatucci (now known as Dughi & Hewit). There he met Chris Christie, who had joined the firm in 1987.

In 2002, he followed Christie to the office of the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey …

In 2009, after Christie was elected Governor of New Jersey, Chiesa headed his transition team. Christie then named Chiesa his chief counsel.[2] He served in this position until being nominated by Christie to succeed Paula Dow as Attorney General on December 12, 2011.

Here’s his Offical Bio on the State of NJ Website.

Minnesota House Passes Marriage Equality!

I was watching the Minnesota House of Representatives debate their Marriage Equality bill, and it passed!  75 Yeas to 59 Nays.  The Minnesota Senate is expected to take up the bill on Monday, and from everything I’ve read it’s expected to pass there.  Governor Mark Dayton has said he will sign the bill when it passes.  Minnesota would become the 12th State (13th jurisdiction) to legalize marriage equality.  The tide is definitely turning.

Updated: Boston Marathon Explosions

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Continuing the discussions/information from this diary.  176 people were injured (17 in critical condition), and 3 killed in the explosions yesterday.

President Obama gave a press conference this morning:

Obviously our first thoughts this morning are with the victims, their families, and the city of Boston.  We know that two explosions gravely wounded dozens of Americans, and took the lives of others, including a 8-year-old boy.

This was a heinous and cowardly act.  And given what we now know about what took place, the FBI is investigating it as an act of terrorism.  Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians it is an act of terror.  What we don’t yet know, however, is who carried out this attack, or why; whether it was planned and executed by a terrorist organization, foreign or domestic, or was the act of a malevolent individual.  That’s what we don’t yet know.  And clearly, we’re at the beginning of our investigation.  

It will take time to follow every lead and determine what happened.  But we will find out.  We will find whoever harmed our citizens and we will bring them to justice.

We also know this — the American people refuse to be terrorized.  Because what the world saw yesterday in the aftermath of the explosions were stories of heroism and kindness, and generosity and love:  Exhausted runners who kept running to the nearest hospital to give blood, and those who stayed to tend to the wounded, some tearing off their own clothes to make tourniquets.  The first responders who ran into the chaos to save lives.  The men and women who are still treating the wounded at some of the best hospitals in the world, and the medical students who hurried to help, saying “When we heard, we all came in.”  The priests who opened their churches and ministered to the hurt and the fearful.  And the good people of Boston who opened their homes to the victims of this attack and those shaken by it.

So if you want to know who we are, what America is, how we respond to evil — that’s it.  Selflessly.  Compassionately.  Unafraid.

Full remarks available here

Explosions at Boston Marathon

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Live coverage on Bloomberg TV.

April 16 Update:  

Bloomberg reports that FBI investigators are asking residents and spectators for photos and videos they may have from the event.  176 people were injured (17 in critical condition), and 3 killed in the explosions yesterday.  Previous reports that the police had found unexploded bombs are incorrect according to Governor Patrick.  Federal & local authorities searched an apartment in Revere, but have not disclosed any further information.  Federal officials are treating this as a terrorist attack since it involved multiple explosive devices, but a connection has not yet been made to any specific group.  

I imagine that there are likely blood shortages in the area, given the number of injuries.  If you are in the region, and would like to donate blood to help out, the Red Cross suggests scheduling an appointment (mine is for Thursday).

/End Update

Explosions at the Boston Marathon, near the finish line.  Reports of injuries; 4 people being treated at Mass General.  Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has suspended service.

According to MSNBC, runners who had not yet completed the race were being stopped and directed elsewhere.  

Update: 3:49 EDT – Bloomberg TV says Boston Globe is reporting that secondary devices are still being found.

Update: 4:03 EDT – Bloomberg TV says NY Post is reporting 12 people killed.  No official confirmation.

Update: 4:05 EDT – Bloomberg TV says Twitter update from Boston PD says 22 hurt, 2 killed.

Update: 4:53 EDT – Boston Police Press Conference – there was also a third explosion at JFK Library about a half hour ago, so they consider the situation to be ongoing and ask residents to stay at home.  JFK Library was an unrelated fire.  h/t JanF

Update (h/t Denise):

Don’t panic if you can’t call someone who is in Boston – all cell phone service has been shut down in downtown Boston

tips number – 800 494-8477

number to find loved ones

617 635-4500

Update: 5:14 EDT:  Harvard has cancelled classes tonight.

Update (h/t Nurse Kelley): Google Person Finder

Pootie Update; Still Losing Weight

Some of you may remember my earlier diaries, worried about my pootie Fudge:

She had lost a lot of weight, and I got a lot of excellent advice in the First Diary along with some additional advice & lab results in the Second Diary

Now we have the lab results back from Fudge’s followup visit on Thursday to recheck her kidney enzymes.  Here’s the results:

The BUN went down, from 56 to 50.  The Creatinine went down also, from 5.1 to 3.3.  Both are still high and outside the normal range, although they have improved.  Monday should bring the results of the Urine culture & analysis to see if there is any lingering infection.  Unfortunately, her weight was also down about 3/4 of a pound in a month.

Pootie Update – Lab Results

Spoke to the vet this morning, this is what we know:

Fudge’s thyroid levels were normal, and there’s no anemia.  However, the kidney enzymes were high – 56 for the B1 enzyme and 5.1 for the T-something (didn’t quite catch the name) enzyme.  Also, there was bacteria in the urine sample so it looks like she has a urinary tract infection.  They’re going to do a culture & sensitivity analysis on the urine sample they took; results from that should come back in  2-3 days.  

She is happily eating the wet food, although she ignored the dry food again last night; drinking appears to be normal, at least what I’ve been able to observe.

Treatment for now is:

1. Start Fudge on an antibiotic for the UTI; dosage/specific drug to potentially be modified by the results of the culture analysis.

2. Start the Lysine tonight mixed in with the wet food.  

3. Keep an eye on her weight (I’m thinking I’ll weigh her each night when I get home to be consistent).

4. If her weight doesn’t start to increase or continues to decrease, follow up with an ultrasound & x-rays.

So that’s where we’re at; I’ll be picking up the antibiotic on my way home tonight, as well as more wet food. Once her nose has cleared up, if she’s still not going for the dry food I’ll start to transition them to a different brand.  Thanks everyone for your advice the other day; it really did help & was comforting.  

Update: Pootie Advice?

Update:Had the appointment this morning; in and out relatively quickly.  They took blood/urine samples and are testing for many of the things listed by Jk2003 & Nurse Kelley.  Should have results tomorrow AM.  The vet agreed with daily wet food & adding in the lysine supplement (that should arrive sometime tomorrow, along with the scale).  So that’s where we’re at for now; waiting.  Thanks everyone for your advice & encouragement; I’ll keep you updated.  

Hoping for some pootie advice from the wonderful Meese here.  I have two cats, now almost 11 years old, who I rescued when they were two months old.  This is the female, Fudge:

And this is her brother, Dark Chocolate:

DarkChocolate has always been bigger and heavier (and quieter, he usually doesn’t vocalize unless he thinks we’re sleeping in too late on the weekend).  Fudge has always been an attention hog – she seems to have a sixth sense to let her know when her brother is getting attention, and she comes running from wherever she was in the house to demand her share of the pettings.  They usually get along, aside from occasional squabbles about a toy or sleeping spot; usual sibling stuff (they’re not actually from the same litter, but since we got them from the same shelter at the same time, we call them brother/sister).  

Fudge had feline herpes as a kitten; as a result she does tend to be permanently sniffly/stuffy (she sneezes a lot) and has one eye that’s cloudy (although she seems to see fine out of it for now).  Over the years, DarkChocolate become heftier, but lately Fudge is feeling thinner and smaller than before (she looks puffy but most of it is fluffy fur, she’s actually fairly light), which has me worried.

Here’s where the needed advice comes in – they’ve always been raised with dry food only (wet food maybe 3x a year as a treat), in one of those auto-feeder things where as the bowl empties, it refills from the reservoir, so they can eat on their own schedule, etc.  I’m planning on switching their food to a different brand, to see if that encourages Fudge to eat more, but I was also thinking maybe I should get rid of the auto-feeder and just put them on a regular feeding schedule, possibly including wet food.  My theory is that part of the issue may be that Fudge, with her respiratory issues, just doesn’t smell the food as much and so she’s not interested, so wet food might spark her interest (she is definitely interested in food in general; she eats up the treats pretty quickly, but either she doesn’t like or can’t really smell the regular dry food they’re on).  She isn’t acting abnormally otherwise, just seems to not be eating as much.  

The two main concerns I have are a) how to transition them from having food available all the time to being fed on a regular basis, and b) whether switching to a combo of wet/dry food will end up increasing DarkChocolate’s weight too (if anything, I’d like him to lose some, but Fudge I think needs to gain more).  Also, when you do feeding on a schedule, what sort of gap is OK?  I’m usually up around 8am, but I don’t get home until around 8pm or later; is that alright?

Sen. Lautenberg (D-NJ) Retiring

It’s not too surprising, but Sen. Frank Lautenberg, Democratic Senator from NJ, has announced he will not seek re-election in 2014.  He’ll be 90 by then, and has had cancer during this most recent term (although he’s been cancer free since 2010), so it’s not entirely surprising.  However, Sen. Lautenberg is one of the more liberal voices currently in the senate, and it’s hard to say if any of the contenders for his seat will be able to fill his shoes on that account.

According to the article on

While Booker is the leading Democratic candidate for Lautenberg’s seat, he is far from the only one. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6th Dist.) has privately told party leaders he intends to run if Lautenberg retires. Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-Essex) has also expressed interest. In addition, Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) has set up an exploratory committee.